Sunday, June 17, 2018
Editorials

Editorial: Water conservation program worth saving

The regional water supplier has wisely recognized the merits of a conservation program abandoned by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. The directors of Tampa Bay Water should make up for the water district's irresponsibility and save Florida-Friendly Landscaping in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties.

The program — promoting conservation, environmental protection and lower monthly water bills for homeowners — had been jointly paid for by Tampa Bay Water and the water management district for the past decade. The water district's board, however, killed the appropriation three weeks ago and decided to funnel money into a new marketing effort targeting water savings in the homebuilding industry. The decision left 11 counties scrambling to continue the conservation programs without the Swiftmud money.

The staff at Tampa Bay Water, the wholesale water supplier to the region, is recommending the utility pick up the additional $161,000 to keep the program coordinators working in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco for the coming year. The agency's directors should approve that recommendation when they meet today.

Those program coordinators have worked with neighborhood associations and other groups to educate the public about drought-tolerant plants, rain barrel construction and other conservation tips. The focus changed this year to so-called measurable water savings — one-on-one visits to heavy water users to suggest individual conservation strategies that would cut water use and monthly bills. That same mission will continue under Tampa Bay Water.

Action by Tampa Bay Water's board cannot help the remaining counties within the water management district, including Hernando. Its utilities department is trying to find money to keep operating the high-value program that helped cut Hernando County's water use by 20 percent since 2006. Florida-Friendly Landscaping is a worthwhile environmental and money-saving effort that needs to be preserved.

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Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

Editorial: Encouraging private citizens to step up on transit

The new grass-roots effort to put a transportation package before Hillsborough County voters in November faces a tough slog. Voters rejected a similar effort in 2010, and another in 2016 by elected officials never made it from the gate. But the lates...
Published: 06/15/18
Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Editorial: 40 years later, honoring remarkable legacy of Nelson Poynter

Forty years ago today, Nelson Poynter died. He was the last individual to own this newspaper, and to keep the Times connected to this community, he did something remarkable. He gave it away.In his last years, Mr. Poynter recognized that sooner or lat...
Published: 06/15/18

There was no FBI anti-Trump conspiracy

The Justice Department released Thursday the highly anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email probe and other sensitive issues in the 2016 election. It is not the report President Donald Trump wanted. But there is enough i...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Voter purge may be legal, but it’s also suppression

The Supreme Court’s ruling last Monday to allow Ohio’s purging of its voter rolls is difficult to dispute legally. While federal law prohibits removing citizens from voter rolls simply because they haven’t voted, Ohio’s purge is slightly different. T...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Free rides will serve as a test of whether the streetcar is serious transportation

Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to ride for free?This fall, the TECO Streetcar Line eliminates its $2.50-a-ride-fare, providing the best opportunity yet to see whether the system’s vintage streetcar replicas can serve as a legitimate transportation a...
Published: 06/14/18
Updated: 06/15/18

AT&T and the case for digital innovation

A good way to guarantee you’ll be wrong about something is to predict the future of technology. As in, "One day, we’ll all …" Experts can hazard guesses about artificial intelligence, driverless cars or the death of cable television, but technologica...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

Editorial: State, nonprofits share obligation to help Hillsborough’s foster kids

The Florida Department of Children and Families has correctly set a quick deadline for Hillsborough County’s main child welfare provider to correct its foster care program. For too long the same story has played out, where troubled teens who need fos...
Published: 06/14/18
Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

Editorial: Educate voters on Amendment 4 and restoring felons’ rights

This fall voters will have 13 constitutional amendments to wade through on the ballot, but Amendment 4 should get special focus. It represents a rare opportunity to rectify a grievous provision in the Florida Constitution, which permanently revokes t...
Published: 06/13/18
Updated: 06/14/18
Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

Editorial: How Florida and the Trump administration are tampering with your health care

The Trump administration just can’t stop sabotaging Americans’ access to health care. Instead of giving up after it failed to persuade Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act, it continues to quietly undermine the law in ways that would reduce acc...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/15/18

Editorial: Parkland students set example for advocacy

Music is healing. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Senior High School put that theory on display Sunday night in New York with their stirring performance at the Tony Awards — beautifully.The students, all from the school’s drama department, bro...
Published: 06/12/18
Updated: 06/13/18